Boris Johnson U-turn as he says he will now self-isolate following fury over trying to dodge quarantine

BORIS Johnson has abandoned plans to avoid quarantine after being contacted by NHS Test and Trace following a furious political backlash.

Sunday, 18th July 2021, 11:27 am

The prime minister and chancellor Rishi Sunak had originally planned to take daily tests rather than self-isolate following meetings last week with health secretary Sajid Javid who has tested positive for Covid-19.

But in a dramatic turnaround this morning Downing Street said the two ministers would be self-isolating rather than taking part in a daily contact testing pilot.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson (left) and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak who will both be taking part in a daily contact testing pilot which allows them to continue to work. Issue date: Sunday July 18, 2021.

‘The prime minister has been contacted by NHS Test and Trace to say he is a contact of someone with Covid,’ a spokesman said.

‘He was at Chequers when contacted by Test and Trace and will remain there to isolate. He will not be taking part in the testing pilot.

‘He will continue to conduct meetings with ministers remotely. The Chancellor has also been contacted and will also isolate as required and will not be taking part in the pilot.’

The disclosure that the PM and chancellor were initially planning to dodge quarantine rules angered thousands of people, who had been forced to miss work after being ‘pinged’ by the NHS Covid app.

Businesses have been pressing for the app to be overhauled and made less sensitive amid concerns that staff shortages mean they cannot operate effectively.

London Underground became the latest to succumb on Saturday when the Metropolitan Line was forced to close because of a lack of control room staff.

While most Covid restrictions lift in England on Monday the rules on self-isolating for contacts of people who test positive are not eased until August 16.

Then people who are double-jabbed will be able to take tests rather than quarantine at home.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said members of the public who are pinged should still self-isolate.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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